By Ryan Clark
NEW YORK – Bill Froschauer and his wife Debbie had a decision to make.
They were scheduled to fly up to New York City to support their Musketeers in the Big East Tournament, but due to the horrendous incoming weather (New York was expecting up to a foot of snow in some areas Wednesday), every flight out of Cincinnati was canceled.
“I knew what was going to happen,” Debbie says. “There was no doubt in my mind.”
Snow or no snow, Bill and Debbie were going to watch the Muskies. In person.
At 8:00 p.m. Tuesday night, they hopped in their 2003 Subaru WRX (mileage: 140,000) and started driving toward New York.
“It’s a great four-wheel drive vehicle, with a stickshift and snow tires,” says Bill, a ’67 grad. “It was the perfect car for the trip.”
With stops along the way, they made it to New York by Wednesday afternoon. Nothing was going to keep them from watching their team.
With the crazy weather settling into the region Tuesday night and Wednesday, New York City was turned not into a Winter Wonderland, but more of a frigid, gray, drizzly ice rink. Walking was difficult and driving was even more so, but those were just the problems felt by those who were here.
Plenty of fans were stuck on their way to New York, some because their flights were canceled, others because they got in cars and found nastiness along the way.
Brandi Bryant, an assistant director in auxiliary services, and her husband David, who works in landscaping for Xavier's Physical Plant, decided for the second consecutive year they wanted to be chaperones for The X-Treme Fans on their way up to New York. Tuesday morning they packed up with more than 90 Xavier students to ride up to the Big Apple.
There was no inclement weather for their trip, but they knew there could have been. And they know there still could be on the way home.
“We had no trouble at all,” David says. “We had more trouble getting out of Norwood than we did getting through to New York.”
The reason they would go all this way with the chance of bad weather?
“We love basketball,” Brandi says. “We love Xavier. We wanted to come.”
The fans who are making it here to New York are superfans.
Take Christian Landreth, a sophomore trombone player in the pep band.
Originally, the Illinois native wasn’t supposed to be here for the Big East tourney, but a spot opened up at the last minute, so he and his family hopped on the last plane they could. As it stands, he was the only member of the pep band here on Wednesday night—others were stuck in Morristown, N.J., because of the weather.
“The weather is terrible—and that may be an understatement,” texted junior clarinet player Patrick Berryman.
So Christian decided to get a group of alumni pumped up on his own Wednesday night. He played the Xavier fight song on his trombone, and led a cheer of X-A-V-IER!
“We thought about it and we just said we had to come,” Christian says. “If I got the opportunity, this was the season I had to be here.”
Neither snow, nor rain, nor heat, nor gloom of night will keep them away.